Florida gar

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Peeling Line
Peeling Line's picture
Florida gar
<p>The ice is pretty sketchy right now and it's still early for the spring fishing so I am thinking of heading down to Florida to try catch Florida gar.&nbsp; Are all the gar in the canals down there Florida gar?&nbsp; Or, will I have to measure their face?&nbsp; I need spotted and Florida for my lifelist.&nbsp; My buddy said you just have to drive along and pull over and you'll find gar but have to watch for gators.&nbsp; Is this true?&nbsp; Or does anyone want to share some spots?</p>
RoughFish
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Tons of Florida gar in most

Tons of Florida gar in most of the ditches I've been to in Florida..... they are a lot quicker to react to a bait than the three species here in Indiana. I hooked 8 or 9 last time down and every single one fell off before hitting the bank.I set the hook shortly after the take to try and not to allow them to swallow the hook. (Don't like the let them go off and swallow it tactic). I was using strips of clam freelined and working it like a jerk bait. Don't know anything about if spotted and Florida overlap or where unfortunately, maybe someone else can elaborate.

NickP27
NickP27's picture
Florida Gar

They should not overlap.  Spotted Gar are found in the Apalachicola and west from there.  Everything east should be Florida Gar.  I fished Tamiami Trail last February and there were schools of gar at every spot I stopped.  Check below any of the dam stations in slower pockets of water.  If you don't  see any fish then check around any wood structure or overhanging trees.  I freelined chunks of Bluegill and Oscar ... the water was clear and it was easy to see when to set the hook as the gar repositioned the bait in their mouths. Good luck!

Peeling Line
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I don't like that tactic

I don't like that tactic either.  I was just going to use a rope lure maybe tipped with night crawlers.

Peeling Line
Peeling Line's picture
Thank-you.  

Thank-you.  

Mack in N.C.
Mack in N.C.'s picture
gar

Plenty of Florida gar Below Rodman dam.  see my 2nd to last video,

 

Peeling Line
Peeling Line's picture
I remember seeing that.  I

I remember seeing that.  I just watched it again.  Were there a lot of them?  You only got the one so I assumed they were pretty sparse.  Did you get it on your crappie jig?

DavidG
DavidG's picture
I live in South Florida,  as

I live in South Florida,  as someone mentioned above, particularly the Tamiami Trail is absolutely loaded with them.  The canals that parallel US41 are slam packed with Florida gar.  You will get bites 100% guaranteed.  

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DavidG Blog:  http://www.boundless-pursuit.com

Matt Miller
Matt Miller's picture
Tamiami

The Tamiami Trail road that goes through the Everglades and Big Cypress if full of Florida gar. Pull of anywhere you can, and there's likely to be some in the canal. If you can find a bit a larger pond, there can be dozens or even hundreds stacked in there.

I have not found Florida gar to be very picky fish, especially if the weather is warm. I have used cut bait, shrimp, worms and even hot dog chunks. I used circle hooks and have not had one swallow the hook, even after allowing it to run. You will lose more than you land. But I landed plenty. In areas where they are stacked up, I would have a take on every cast.

Alligators are present and aggressive. I found, fishing along the Tamiami, I could usually catch a few fish and then the gators would move in and start waiting for me to hook a fish, then chomp it off. I hooked one large gar and was fighting it and all of a sudden a huge gator exploded out of the water and took off with the gar. I have also been charged. One lunged out of the water and chased me, then ate the aforementioned pack of hotdogs. Keep moving and be alert.

PM me if you want more information. I found it to be really fun fishing.

Mack in N.C.
Mack in N.C.'s picture
Gar

Sorry Peeling Line I just saw this, there were LOTS of Gar there.Just not biting the crappie jig.    cut bait on thebottom or a shiner below a cork should get you plenty.

Peeling Line
Peeling Line's picture
I appreciate the help

I appreciate the help everyone gave me but my experience seems to differ from everyone else's.  It may have been because of the cold fronts and all the excess water and current from the hurricanes but there were only two places with a dozen gar.  Other places I saw them they were the odd one or two no schools.  I tried cut bait but they wouldn't have any of it.  I got one bite but didn't manage to set the hook.  I noticed they were feeding on schools of african jewel cichlids and eastern mosquitofish.  I don't usually microfish but I have the hooks.  I used them and caught the jewel cichlids to use for bait.  I had to set the live bait right in front of their snout, keep the bail open and just wait for them to take it.  They seemed hesitant to bite unless I was out of sight.  Fortunately my patience paid off and I did get my gar.  Hope this info helps anyone trying to get one down there.  

TonyS
TonyS's picture
Thanks for the update

Glad you figured them out in tough conditions, I'll remember that if I ever get down there since I'm sure it will probably snow in Florida if I ever get down there to fish